The Stream, October 18: Raw Sewage Pollutes Forty Percent of Rivers in England and Wales

The Global Rundown

Raw sewage flows into rivers throughout England and Wales, polluting at least 40 percent of waterways. Vietnam braces for typhoon Khanun just days after heavy rains and flooding killed 72 people. Wildfires rage in Portugal and Spain after an unusually hot, dry summer. A rehabbed irrigation scheme brings water to struggling farmers in Zimbabwe. Planting trees and improving land management could cut carbon as much as restricting oil use, a report concludes.

“This water is our lifeline; without this irrigation scheme we are hopeless.” –A farmer in Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district in reference to a restored irrigation channel that brings water to more than 850 small-scale farmers. The irrigation scheme, which involves a series of pipes and canals stemming from the Nyanyadzi River, is part of a “climate-smart village” initiative to help communities adapt to climate change. Reuters

By The Numbers

40 percent Proportion of rivers in England and Wales that are polluted by sewage, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The sewage comes from nearly 18,000 sewage overflow sites, many of which spill sewage into rivers on a monthly basis. The raw sewage can be detrimental to wildlife and to human health. The Guardian  

50 Number of wildfires raging in Portugal, along with a similar number in Spain. A combination of climate change and poor land management are blamed for the deadly blazes, which have killed at least 39. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

“Regreening” the planet could cut carbon emissions to the equivalent of halting all oil burning worldwide, according to a recent international study. Measures such as planting trees, protecting peatlands, and improving land management could account for up to 37 percent of the cuts needed to reach the 2030 Paris climate agreement. The Guardian

On The Radar

The Vietnamese government is quickly working to repair dykes, dams, and roads in preparation for typhoon Khanun. The country’s infrastructure was damaged amid heavy flooding just last week, which killed 72 people and submerged thousands of homes. The typhoon is expected to cause another round of torrential rains in northern and central Vietnam. Reuters